City of Tomorrow: Bangkok has built an innovative park that is battling its increasing floods
This past couple of months have seen extreme weather conditions wreak havoc across Asia, from Typhoon Mangkhut's trail of destruction in Hong Kong, Philipines and China to the devastating floods in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Singapore's National Environmental Agency says that extreme weather conditions such as severe drought and torrential floods are also becoming more intense and frequent due to climate change. In recent years, Singapore has experienced heavy rainfall, flash floods and warmer temperatures.
While the U.S. has withdrawn from the historic Paris Agreement — a landmark global initiative to combat climate change — many major cities, states and corporations are taking their own steps to meet the most important environmental challenge of our times.In Asia, Bangkok has been particularly susceptible to the effects of extreme weather conditions. In past years, torrential downpours have made roads impassable as well as overwhelmed its trash-clogged drainage systems. Rapid urbanisation over its low-lying terrain is causing the city to sink at a rate of more than one centimetre a year and has been projected to be below sea level by 2030.
As the government scrambles to mitigate future flooding by upgrading its municipal canal network with pumping stations and underground tunnels, the Bangkok-based landscape architecture firm Landprocess has designed Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park, a 12-acre green sanctuary that protects the surrounding neighbourhoods by storing up to one million gallons of rainwater. Here's how it works.
Built on $700 million worth of land, the park sits on the campus of Chulalongkorn University, which commissioned the project. There are five major components to the park’s water treatment system: the green roof acts as a catch basin, the rainwater tank stores the water, the detention lawn absorbs the water, and the wetlands and retention pond clean and treat the water.
Visitors can ride 'water treatment stationary bikes' to create movement and introduce more oxygen into the ponds to prevent stagnation. In the case of severe flooding, the retention pond can nearly double in size.
The park contains eight different landscape spaces including a herb garden, amphitheatre and reading area.
Widened walkways and new bike lanes connect directly to the park for a seamless pedestrian experience.
Linear gardens, with a multitude of native plants, line the road to absorb rainwater and extend the park further into the neighbourhood.